slack radio 4-0 makeover

If someone asks you what a good streaming music service is, who do you recommend? Pandora? Rdio? Spotify? What about Slacker Radio? Yeah, despite the fact that the company has been around for 6 years, Slacker rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as the others.

But it’s looking to change that. Yesterday, Slacker Radio essentially relaunched itself as a brand—touting complete redesigns of its web and mobile clients. The new iPhone app looks particularly sharp, with a revamped visual interface and new Slacker “Music Guide” feature…

Here’s the release notes for Slacker version 4.0 from the App Store:

“This version of Slacker Radio is all-new for iPhone and iPod, featuring a new visual interface and the debut of the Slacker “Music Guide”. Slacker listeners will discover more music, news, talk and sports than ever before. Look for the visual tile layout to view station, artist, album and song pages and enjoy improved functionality and overall stability as you experience the most complete music service available.”

The new UI is a major improvement over the previous version—it’s kind of reminiscent of Microsoft’s ‘Metro’ tile-based interface. Unfortunately, good looks don’t always translate into functionality. I found the app to be better looking than Pandora, but harder to navigate.

The core aspect of Slacker is still a free, customizable music streaming service with ads and song skip limits. But for $3.99 a month, the Radio Plus package gets rid of both restrictions, and a $9.99 per month option adds Spotify-like offline music and custom playlist features.

So will Slacker Radio’s fresh coat of paint make you want to switch over from Pandora or Rdio? Probably not. But it’s good enough that it’s probably worth the 5 or 10 minutes it’d take you to check it out. As always, you can find the Slacker iPhone app in the App Store.

What do you think of the new Slacker Radio?

  • Mauricio Souza

    TuneIn Radio still the best option for radio streaming.

    • not the same service. Tunein just pulls in existing radio streams. Slacker is a curated service, more like SiriusXM

  • Eric

    Slacker is the best service because for $3.99 a month you get unlimited skips and more importantly you get to download up to 25 station on your device for off line play which saves data and makes it so you can use it when no data is available.

  • The Hype Machine is where it’s at.

  • It’s ok but I can’t give up my spotify now that I’m hooked. The ability to listen to a complete album by almost any artist is awesome

  • Syler u can listen to any album u want or any song for same price as spotify. Spotify is not any better, this has better radio options so i prefer slacker.

  • if they didn’t make it look like the crap that is windows8 I would use it, sorry but windows8 just looks very ugly to me

  • Slacker’s ignored their app since the 1800’s so you’d figure they had some time to come up with something original. It’s unusable while driving, bec. i’ve got to process these stupid gigantic icons. The original was basic, but it got out of the way of the listening experience. That redesign is a goddamn trainwreck.